Silence Is Golden

Yesterday Mikey and I went to go see Contraband at the Rave Movie Theater on Bayou in Pensacola. It was the 4:35 showing. I tell you all the details, not because they are important but I can hope those I am about to talk about read this. We get to the theater about 15 minutes before the show. We buy out tickets and walk into the theater. It is packed with people. We find two seats in the front row. To my left is an older group of four and to Mikey’s right is a twenty something group of four. Behind us is a group of four men. Before the show starts they are all talking within their groups. This is no big deal.

The lights dim and the talking continues. This goes on through the previews. I can handle this as well. The show begins and all three groups are still talking. Okay, so they are finishing the conversations. The opening titles, the group to my left stops talking, the guys behind us mumble a few things, and a female to our right is still chattering away. Here is the situation, THROUGHOUT the movie the woman to our right holds a conversation with her boyfriend (I am assuming) and female friend the entire movie, the group of men behind us comments off and on to one another, and the group to our left do a commentary on the movie. PLEASE keep in mind the group to the left are older so they are not whispering but talking rather loud letting me know what is taking place before my eyes as it happens. It is like the annoying sports announcers during a televised game (by the way, what a ridicules job to have).

Here is my point, when the lights go down SHUT UP! There should be no talking or texting during a movie. When you are at a movie theater you need to be quiet. This is not your home. There ARE others around you who would like to watch the movie as well. Your talking and texting (as non discreet as you may think you are) is disruptive. If I wanted to be annoyed with idle chatter I will watch the super bowl. The darkness of any theater should be a sign to all that it is time to be quiet. It is not the time to catch up with current gossip or to become the next great Howard Cosell. Sit, watch the movie, enjoy and once the lights come up then talk; text; hell I don’t care, make a phone call.

As for the movie itself, I would give it a B-. It was a slow movie with little action. The actors were okay but I think my biggest issue was in the writing. In retrospect I should have waited until I could see it in my own living room; where there would have been silence.

Report Card Time

It’s that time of year where I sit down with my supervisor and I am told how I am doing at my job. It is time for the yearly EVALUATION! I really hate these things. For a time period, I begin to worry about what is on that paper. When in reality, I have had only one bad evaluation. And that was done by a supervisor who, to this day, still does not understand what it is I do (nor does she care to know what it is I do).

I usually score high on my evaluation. Last year, there was one area that I did not score so high: attitude. It was explained to me that I did not do well in this area for two reasons. The first was my attitude toward my job. The second was my attitude around others.

Over the last year, I have reflected (okay…obsessed) on this one aspect of my evaluation. Let’s take a look at the two pieces. The first one being my attitude toward my job. I will admitted in 2010 I did not have the best attitude toward my job. I was very burned out and over whelmed. I had been doing the same thing for seven years. I felt stagnant in what I was doing. I felt there was no growth professionally. Two years prior to that I began to state I was feeling the beginning of burn out. I spoke to my supervisor that I needed a change. The change did not come and as a result I got burned out. Now, I know I have control of my attitude and therefore worked this year to change that aspect. I think I have done much better this past year. We will see.

Now, on to my attitude toward others. Here is where I spent my time thinking. The day of my evaluation, I was given general statements (not specific examples). I was told that some directors in the division did not know how to take me, I was not real friendly, and I had not developed relationships with other people in the division. Over the year I have reflected on this and here is what I have come up with.

I do not prescribe to what is known as “southern hospitality” which means I am nice to your face but as soon as your back is turned my true feelings about you comes out. We have way too much of that in our division. Wow, just sitting here typing a list of names is flying through my head who I consider to be fake about their opinion of others. You see, in the south I have learned you can talk about people as badly as you like as long as you end it with, “bless their hearts.” By ending with that one line you are allowed to stay in good christian status.That is SO christian!

People know how I feel about them up front. I do not hide it. Nor am I nice and act as your best friend while we are in the same room and then verbally slam you once you are out of the range of hearing my voice. However, I will work with just about anyone. Just because I do not care for you as a person does not mean we can not work together on a project. It’s just the way that I am.

I was told I had not built relationships with others within the division. And this is true. However, I do not believe the relationships I need to build in order to be successful in my job lie primarily within the division I work. I have forged very strong and positive relationship with others outside of the division. These relationships are with others who help to make my department successful and I help to strengthen their areas. Overtime, I built bridges with other departments and both have benefited. The bonus to this is I truly enjoy working with these individuals. They are fun to work with and I know in other setting they are supportive of my areas and I am supportive of theirs. It is true, I have not built relationships with the typical individuals that people do in my division. But I have built relationships with others at work; a bridge now spans where hostility or only tolerance once existed.

It’s report card time at work. We will see what my grade is soon enough.

Music Shall Set You Free

Saturday night Mikey, myself and a group of our friends went to the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. Now, if you had asked me if I liked the symphony before we moved to Pensacola I would have said “no.” However, we attended a concert about five years ago and since then I have come to love the PSO. As a matter of fact it is one of my favorite things in this city. We have been season ticket holders for the last three years. The Music Director, Peter Rubardt, moves the occasion from a concert to an experience. He breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience. He explains what the piece the symphony is about to play and gives us an inside look at the life of the composer.

It is amazing to sit in the Saenger Theatre and listen to the instruments come together to make one sound; to create that one story that we all hear. From the fanfare of the winds, to the thunder of the percussions, to the long held notes of the strings. They all must work together to make us see the one image before us that is not actually present. This story helps to moves us from our concerns of the day to various worlds in one night.

One thing I do when we attend the symphony is to sit there and close my eyes. I let my ears take in the sounds. I take note what side of the stage the sound comes from. First the left, then the right, then the center. Over and over. And as I take in each sound images begin to form in mind. At first the frames tick by slowly then faster and faster until a scene is played before me. I am taken from Pensacola, Florida to a battle field in ancient Rome or a wooded area in east Texas. I never know what or where the scene is. It is the music that guides my thoughts. And for two hours every few months, I am transported to places I never have seen before and may never see again.

It is an incredible experience that I am able to share with my friends. At intermission or at the end we all share our opinions of the pieces. No one is right or wrong in what they heard. And I am not wrong in the images I create in my head for those two hours. The images created simply by waves in the air. Thank you, PSO, for creating the notes that set me free.

The PSO is one aspect of this city I have come to love. Many times I focus on the negative elements, however, tonight I leave you with a list of the sights, events, and people I love about Pensacola:

  1. The 3 Mile Bridge
  2. Downtown Pensacola
  3. Palafox Place
  4. Gallery Nights
  5. Mikey and my friends
  6. Fireworks over the bay on July 4th

The2Mikes’ Gay Agenda

As 2011 began to come to a close (I mean this was within the last seven days of the year), Mikey and I were having a conversation one evening.  Mikey was telling me that he recently read a blog about someone who asked gay couples to live in a “glass house” for a month to show the public that being gay is more similar to the straight community than some would like to admit. The creator of this concept called it “The Gay Agenda”.

You see, the conservative party and the religious right like to throw around the term “gay agenda”. It is part of their fear approach to scare people in this country about this “dark side” of being gay. They use it to promote the myth that gays will recruit your children (um, has a gay person ever rang your doorbell and asked you to join homosexuality) or that we will force churches to recognize a marriage between two individuals of the same sex (um, I don’t see anyone forcing the Catholic church to preform ceremonies and sign off on the marriage of a protestant couple) or that we will fraud companies by claiming individuals under out benefits packages when we are not really in a relationship (don’t worry, heterosexuals have been doing that for decades). The gay agenda is this made up concept which is used to scare your everyday individuals of homosexuals. It is all based in myth.

So here is The2Mikes’ Gay Agenda:

  • We wish to live our lives as a couple
  • We would like to have children and build a family
  • We wish to have the same rights granted by the federal government as anyone else
  • We would like to know that the other can visit us when we are sick in the hospital as our family
  • We wish to know that the other will be the one to make final medical decisions
  • We wish to know that the other will be the one to make our final arrangements when we are gone
  • We wish to receive what we have built as a couple without having to go through the legal system and without paying estate taxes
  • We wish to adopt children as a couple and not as a single individual and then go through the WHOLE process again to have a second parent adoption granted
  • We wish to not be outcast from the communities that we live and work in simply because of who we love
  • We wish to have ALL the same privileges that heterosexuals take advantage of EVERY day without even realizing it is a privilege

So hear is what The2Mikes decided to do that last week of 2011. We are going to put our lives out there, so that anyone can see what our lives are like. During 2012 we will post events, issues, trips and the everyday living of our lives here in the northwest panhandle of Florida. Some things may be very gay focused but I have a feeling 90% of the post will show two people who love one another and working to exist in this world. It will show how we strive to achieve our goals and how we support one another on those rainy days of life.

I will post my items via blogging. I have a feeling Mikey will post most of his items via pictures and vlogging. We both look forward to what materializes from this site over the next year. We both hope that through out posting that you get a sense of who we are as humans, as a couple, as a family, our friends, our family, and our lives.

So I only have one more thing to say, Welcome to an insight into the lives of The2Mikes!

Aging Through the Eyes of Tilly

Last week we took the girls, Tilly (a saluki) and Corri (a cocker spaniel/golden retriever mix), to the veterinarian. All the reports came back great with the exception that Tilly has lost some muscles in her hind legs due to lack of exercise. The solution: she needs to be walked in order for her to get the exercise she needs. What, being in the backyard and sleeping all day does not constitute exercise? Well, okay. If we must we will. 5:30 pm today, Mikey and I decide to go for a walk and take the girls. We get the leashes out and the second Corri sees hers she goes ballistic. When she sees the leashes she knows it is time for adventure. We get the leashes on the girls and head out the door. We start down the sidewalk and on our way.

Now, it has been over a year (maybe two years) since the girls have been on a walk. In the past, Corri would walk all over the place taking in the smells. She moved from left to right; in the grass and on the sidewalk. All the while, her head is down and she is smelling. Tilly walked with her head down and moving directly ahead. The leash usually has no slack in it and she is on her mission. Her eyes are focused in front and all her stimulation is taken in through her vision. Because one moves in a direct line and the other moves left to right, Corri usually trips up Tilly with the leash and it becomes the frustrating part of the walk. That was not the case tonight.

Remember, there is a point to the walk. Tilly needs to get exercise to build up her legs. So here is the picture tonight. Corri is excited about the walk. She is moving left to right and taking in the smells. Tilly, however, is slow to get started. She stays to the side of Mikey and seems to be slow. There is no mission to her walk. As we turn on to the other street she begins to move into the mode we are familiar with. Her head is angled slightly down and her legs are moving gracefully. She is herself! We make it to the end of the street and turn around. Corri is taking in the smells and Tilly begins to slow down a bit. As we come to the end of the walk Tilly is tired. She makes it the last stretch by Mikey’s side or even at times behind him. we can tell she is relieved to be home. She has spent the rest of the evening sleeping on the couch and not moving from couch to chair to couch as she usually does.

As we walked, I began to realize that humans are not much different than dogs as far as the aging process. Tilly is getting older and we are beginning to see the effects on her. I began to reflect on my own aging process. By watching Tilly tonight I can see my future path. It may not be for several years, but at some point, I will walk slower and take in less. A walk of thirty minutes will feel like and hour. And I know that I will be happy to arrive at the door step of our home. I will be happy to simply doze on the couch as I recover from a simple task which I accomplished.

As we begin 2012, it is important to reflect and remember what we learned over the last year. It is a time to remember and a time to plan for the future 366 days. We hope for a better year and have faith that we will accomplish new goals. I know I will be presented with new challenges but due to what I learned in the past I will be able to over come each one. And just like Tilly, I will approach this new year one step at a time. I will enjoy the walk. I also know each walk will become easier and easier as long as I stick to the goals I set for myself. If I stumble along the way (and I know I will) I will have my friends and family to help me up. For as I love them, I know they love me as well.